English  language  learning  programmes for Ecuadoreans to start soon
June 2, 2015
English language learning programmes for Ecuadoreans to start soon

Next month will see the commencement of the first of two English language learning programmes that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has agreed on with the government of Ecuador.

At a media briefing last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs Camillo Gonsalves revealed that the first cohort of three Ecuadorians will arrive in July under the English learning for diplomats programme.{{more}}

“They are young Foreign Officers… they are going to be stationed here in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they are going to learn English from us,” explained Gonsalves. “They will stay for three months.”

He also shared that a larger ‘Go Teacher’ seven-month programme for the first wave of 50 Ecuadorean teachers will come on stream in September, with participants based at the SVG Community College.

“We are going to have a collaboration among the Community College here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, UWI in Barbados – the Cave Hill Campus – and the Dominica State College,” he shared.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines has been designated as the primary spot where Ecuadoreans will be learning English, but we do not currently have all the capacity we need in terms of teachers and classroom space to manage all that they want to send initially.”

He also said that the first year will be used to work out all the kinks in the programme, and the Ministry of Tourism has been working diligently to ensure that accommodation is available for them all.

“We hope, in our conversations with the Ecuadoreans, to grow the programme from there.”

He added: “This is a venture that is going to generate revenue. These students are paying tuition to the Community College. It is not an act of grant assistance between our two countries; they are paying for this education. They are going to be paying for their room and board… buying food in supermarkets.”

Gonsalves further said that his Ministry had been receiving “feelers” from other Latin American countries that are interested in the English language learning programmes.

“We are trying to get our own teachers formally trained in the teaching of English as a second language. We are hoping to expand some of our classroom space and facilities and we know that the private sector has already done a lot of work in getting apartments and residences ready for what we hope to be a fairly strong influx…”

He pointed out that there is also the opportunity to send Vincentians to Ecuador (and any other participating countries) to learn and improve upon their Spanish. (JSV)